Do I Need an Accident Attorney if I Have Full Coverage in Florida?
Yes. If you are injured in a car accident you should retain an accident attorney even if you have “full coverage”. “Full coverage” is the bare minimum insurance coverage. Without more, “full coverage” does not put a single penny in your pocket if you are injured in a crash.
What Is Full Coverage Under the Florida Minimum Insurance Requirements?
Florida requires a minimum of $10,000 in personal injury protection (PIP) coverage and $10,000 in property damage liability (PDL) coverage also known as “full coverage”. Florida does not require bodily injury coverage (BI) or any other coverage for non-commercial drivers.
If you suffered injuries in an accident in Florida, you would submit your claim with your own insurance company under your PIP policy. However, the minimum standard of $10,000 is quite often not enough coverage if you need to stay in a hospital or require an ambulance for transportation to a medical facility. Your PIP benefits go to your providers, not in your pocket.
Additionally, if the other party only has “full coverage” you will not receive a single penny from the accident. The other party needs to have bodily injury (BI) coverage to cover your damages. BI coverage pays for your past and future medical bills, past and future lost wages, and past and future pain and suffering. An experienced personal injury attorney will locate all available “pockets” to compensate you for your injuries.
What Additional Coverage Should Florida Drivers Obtain?
Insurers in Florida offer several additional policies to help drivers cover the full extent of damages in an accident. One type of coverage all insured drivers should carry in Florida is uninsured motorist/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage. According to some estimates, approximately one in four Florida drivers doesn’t have insurance. In South Florida, that number is even higher. UM/UIM protects YOU in case you are injured by the negligence of another driver. It is our advice to MATCH your BI coverage (benefits paid to another if YOU are negligent) with your UM coverage.
Stated another way, for accidents where the at-fault driver has no insurance or not enough insurance, you can protect yourself with UM/UIM coverage.
Will Standard Insurance Cover the Damages?
Insurance companies often don’t want to pay claims, even legitimate claims. Many insurance companies will deny or underpay claims, even for their own policy holders. Additionally, Florida law only requires your PIP insurance provider to cover 80 percent of damages for your physical injuries and lost wages up to $10,000.
Why Retaining a Florida Car Accident Attorney Is Valuable
Dealing with an accident claim takes time. The insurance adjuster for your case will take every opportunity to reduce the value of your claim before making a settlement offer. When you have a car accident attorney in Florida on your side after an accident, your attorney can:
- Speak to your insurance adjuster on your behalf
- Gather essential evidence for your claim or personal injury case
- Advise you if a settlement offer will cover your injuries and related expenses
- Ensure that any necessary filings meet the appropriate deadlines
- Help you calculate accurate costs of your injuries for economic and non-economic damages
If you take the other driver to court, you must be able to prove negligence to collect damages. An experienced attorney can help you build a case to pursue appropriate compensation.
Contact a South Florida Car Accident Attorney
A personal injury attorney can help locate the correct coverages, help you avoid mistakes with your claim, and provide legal support while you focus on recovering from the accident.
With three offices throughout South Florida, the attorneys at Lyons & Snyder can help you navigate your car accident claim. Call us today at (954) 462-8035 or contact us online for a free consultation with a car accident attorney in Florida.